Harry Dresden meets American Gods in this collection of all-new stories set in the bestselling world of The Iron Druid Chronicles, starring 2,000-year-old Irishman/Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan.
The Iron Druid Chronicles is a hilarious and action-packed urban fantasy set in a modern world in which all the gods of every pantheon are alive and well, as in American Gods; its hero is a smart-mouthed, buttkicking magician, like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. But it’s told in a smart, witty, unforgettable voice that’s all Kevin Hearne—a star in the fantasy world. This addictive and wildly imaginative series stars hero Atticus O’Sullivan: a handsome, tattooed Irishman who looks like a young rock star, but is in actuality a 2,000-year-old Druid with extraordinary magic powers. In Besieged, Atticus’ adventures throughout history are told in a collection of nine new and original short stories.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Del Rey Books
Four stars: A delightful set of tales that delve into Atticus’ past, while also preparing the readers for the upcoming finale.
Being a long time fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles I had to get my hands on this collection of short stories. I liked that this set of stories was a mix of past and present. I loved delving into Atticus’ past, and I especially enjoyed the story involving William Shakespeare. There are also stories from Owen’s and Granuaile’s points of views. The final two stories set the table for the upcoming finale. If you are a fan of this series, this is a must read.
Here is a break down of the stories:
The Eye of Horus: This is a campfire story told to Granuaile and Oberon during Granuaile’s training. Atticus regales his attempts to steal an ancient Egyptian artifact as a favor for one of the Gods. There are feral cats, Egyptian curses and an encounter with the Egyptian God of the Dead. Lots of fun in this one. I am most curious as to what favor Atticus will call in, perhaps we will find out in the final book. Four stars.
Goddess at the Crossroads: I loved this story. This one is another camp fire story. Atticus tells of his encounter with none other than William Shakespeare. Atticus poses as a rich Frenchman in order to meet Shakespeare. Atticus ends up taking Shakespeare on a witch hunt as Shakespeare is seeking inspiration for his next play, Macbeth. Atticus has no intention of finding real witches, but he and Shakespeare accidentally manage to stumble upon three witches. More mayhem and fun. This one made me laugh. Five stars.
The Demon Barker of Wheat Street: This short story originally appeared in the Carniepunk anthology. It is a gory tale of what happens when the trio attends a carnival in Kansas. The night of fun quickly turns deadly when they find a demon posing as a carnival barker is luring people into a portal of Hell. This is great for a Halloween tale. Lots of blood and guts at the end. Three and a half stars.
Gold Dust Druid: Another tale for Oberon and Granuaile. This time Atticus recounts his time in the Old West. An Elemental begs him for help after a demon is let loose in the California gold rush territory. The demon begins possessing and murdering people. Atticus poses as an English detective, and he joins forces with the local Texas Sheriff to stop the demon. I loved the sheriff. This was a fun Wild West tale. Four and a half stars.
The Bogeyman of Boora Bog: A tale from Owen’s point of view. Owen tells Greta of how he came to be Atticus’ mentor. Owen visits a village whose children are being kidnapped. Owen agrees to hunt down the kidnapper. He is shocked when he learns who is behind the abductions. Owen encounters the Morrigan and we learn why he ended up on the time isle. This story also explains a bit about the fall fo the Druids. Four stars.
Blood Pudding: It is Granuaile’s turn. In this story, we catch up with Granuaile in Poland as she continues her training with the witches while working part time in a pub. One night, she receives a threatening letter from the vampires, who are resisting Atticus and Leif’s decree for all vampires to leave Poland or face death. Granuaile joins forces with Leif to destroy the vampires. There were some funny moments at the end, and I liked seeing Granuaile kick butt on her own. I personally don't want to try the blood pudding in this one! Four stars.
Haunted Devils: This is one of two stories that prepare the reader for the final book. Owen is called upon by the Elementals to investigate why Tasmanian Devils are dying from a mysterious form of cancer. Owen and Atticus work together to eradicate the problem. Afterwards, there is hope for a possible truce between Greta and Atticus. Owen also realizes that Atticus is the reason that the Druids still exist, and he is proud of his pupil. Four stars.
The End of Idylls: This final story sets up the last book as the beginning of Ragnorak draws near. Atticus takes Oberon on a camping trip, telling him about his other furry companion and how Atticus lost him. This is funny and sad at the same time. Three stars.
All in all, this was a terrific set of tales that are diverse and entertaining. Some are just pure fun while others are meant to explain events in the past and future. As always, there is plenty of humor. I especially enjoyed the whole section on readers and one star ratings. I highly recommend reading this before going into the final book.
I listened to this book narrated by the brilliant Luke Daniels. I absolutely adore Daniels’ narration. He does amazing voices. If you haven’t tried this series on audio, do it. You will love it!
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.